Rivers Re-run: INEC suspends election in four local govts as violence rocks polls

The Independent National Electoral Commission has suspended the ongoing re-run elections in Bonny, Andoni, Gokana, and Khana local government areas of Rivers State.

INEC’s Deputy Director of Public Affairs, Nick Dazang, confirmed to PREMIUM TIMES that the elections were suspended in the areas because of violence.

Mr. Dazang said there was also high voters’ apathy in the areas because of the allegations of fake result sheets.

Bonny, Andoni, and Khana were among the local government areas where the Rivers state government and the Peoples Democratic Party alleged fake result sheets were in circulation.

There were reports of pockets of violence and ballots snatching in the elections, although the police said the poll was largely peaceful.

For instance, some thugs were said to have snatched election materials around 2.30pm at three units in WIiyaakara Ward, Khana Local Government Area.

At Bori, also in Khana, INEC officials were reportedly scared of stepping out of their offices to conduct the election because of threats from persons wearing fake military uniform.

A 14-seater bus was burnt down in Alode, Eleme Local Government Area, and there were also reports of a shoot-out in Rumuekini, Obio Akpor Local Government Area.

The Army in the state paraded some fake soldiers arrested at Khana.

However, counting of votes has begun in some polling units across the state.

Meanwhile, the state government has accused the Nigerian military of colluding with the All Progressives Congress in the state to hijack election materials.

The government in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES around 3.58pm said it “noted with shock and disgust the role played by the military in the reported diversion of all voting materials meant for the Isaka community, in Okrika Local Government Area.”

The government said, “This is sickening betrayal of democracy by the military, and will never be allowed to stand.”

> The APC in the state dismissed the statement by the Rivers government as mere falsehood.

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